Moderate Republicans Triumph at MN House District 49A Convention

Just got back from the endorsing convention for Minnesota House District 49A.  After four rounds of balloting, former Pawlenty energy adviser and local GOP establishment figure Bill Glahn secured the nomination with 62% of the vote, defeating former Met Council vice-chairwoman Polly Peterson-Bowles and small businessman Steve Wise.  (Candidates had to win 60% of the vote to avoid facing one another in the primary.)

Glahn brings a reputation for being a “solutions oriented” fiscal conservative to bear in his November campaign against local DFL candidate Ron Erhardt.  Mr. Glahn opposed the legislature’s decision to place the definition of marriage on the ballot this fall, believing that marriage is not an appropriate matter for definition in the Minnesota Constitution.  While identifying as pro-life and supporting some restrictions on abortion, he does not recognize the right to life from the moment of conception.

One of the old pastors at my parish, Nativity of Our Lord in St. Paul, once said, “Faith at Nativity is a mile wide and an inch deep.”  Here in Edina/Bloomington, the Republicans are plentiful and powerful.  The endorsing convention Senate District 49 held tonight, which drew barely two-thirds the crowd that was at our original convention in March, was larger than the convention for all of Congressional District 4.  That’s right: there are more Republican delegates here in one fraction of one Congressional District than there are in the whole neighboring CD put together.

But the folks over in CD4 nominated conservatives.

49A had two conservatives on the ballot tonight, and we sent them both home.  This on the heels of our pro-Romney votes in February and March.  Our district’s conservatism is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Mr. Glahn will certainly have my support this fall, and he strikes me as indeed having the “solutions orientation” that will get things done in St. Paul.  He is pretty good on a lot of issues.  He is supportive of anyone who is willing to be part of the Republican tent, even if they’re crazy right-wing Paulite conservatives who’ve got half a foot in libertarian land.  Given the opposition Paul supporters face in the GOP establishment, I really respect that.  Thanks to Mr. Glahn, I may even be able to vote for a winning Republican candidate this fall, for the first time in my electoral life, which would be fun.  And, I must concede, much of what makes Mr. Glahn’s candidacy unattractive to me is precisely what makes his candidacy attractive to moderate voters and Tom Horner supporters.  But sometimes I do miss my silly old 64B and its tiny little conventions and the sacrificial — but conservative! — lambs we put forward year after year.

Thank you to all the candidates who put their names forward for consideration.  It was not an easy choice.  And thanks also to the convention team who put this endorsing convention together — the SD49 Republican executive committee is a pretty remarkable group of people.  Onwards to victory!

Belated Post-Script: Very disappointing to see so many of the Ron Paul people from February absent tonight.  If we are going to be the Republican party, people, we can’t let a lone defeat knock us out of the process altogether! Our political future is not defined by our presidents, but by our state legislators — that’s what Ron Paul is out there fighting for in the first place.

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